Jimmy Carter: Rock & Roll President

Watched this awesome documentary yesterday. Anyone else here seen it?

There is some amazing archival footage of Jimmy and Rosalynn with famous musical acts up together on stage and at White House functions including a cameo performance from the president joining in with Dizzy Gillespie for “Salt Peanuts”. I’d never known how much his love of music played a part in his 1976 campaign but it’s laid out with interviews from the likes of Greg Allman, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Jimmy Buffett, Paul Simon, Nile Rodgers and as mentioned archival footage from the time. Those freespirited musical talents gravitated to his messaging as different in a good and exciting way at a time when most commentators and pundits still cast doubt on his chances. And it blossomed into a great friendship. The documentary also covers the political tide of his life leading up to the presidency and then the highs and lows of his term with archival footage of a huge crowd listening to Martin Luther King Sr’s endorsing him in 1976 to him being heckled at his re-election campaign kick off in Alabama by a group of people wearing KKK robes in 1980. And Carter himself provided commentary reflecting on it all for the documentary.

If you haven’t seen it I’d highly recommend it. It’s very different from usual documentaries into presidents and you don’t have to like politics or like his politics to enjoy this. Really good production all round.

I’ve seen it some months ago and was very surprised. I knew nothing about his connections to rock and jazz musician before. I was a little too young to have really followed his presidency closely, but I’ve always somehow thought of him as some kind of a square, that’s why the documentary was so revealing to me. He also comes across as a really likable guy in his interviews.

He’s been my favorite president since he won the election in '76.